Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic or long-term medical condition with symptoms that may come and go. Patients will have varying degrees of tolerance and reaction to this disease. There are some people who will experience extended periods of remissions while others will manifest intermittent flare-ups, where the symptoms may persist for months.
While the medical condition may affect various parts of the body, the joints will always be involved in all cases of rheumatoid arthritis. An inflamed joint will always be the main condition that will define the presence of the disease. Inflammation is the natural response of our body in cases of serious threat to our health and overall well-being. In this particular case, the natural defense of the body goes awry and inappropriately triggers inflammation of the joints.
During the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, the smaller joints are more susceptible to the medical condition. These include the joints that connect the hands to your fingers as well as the joints that connect the toes to your feet. With the progression of the disease, other parts of the body will also manifest the RA symptoms, including the shoulders, hips, elbows, ankles and knees. As it becomes widespread, the disease will also affect the joints on both sides of the body. The joints that are affected by rheumatoid arthritis tend to deform and move out of position when the disease becomes severe.
General inflammation as a result of rheumatoid arthritis will lead to a wide range of symptoms and these include the following:
These typical symptoms are normally associated to having flu. However, in the case of RA, these symptoms are generally moderate but will persist for a longer period of time. The symptoms of RA can affect various parts of the body and such involvement is usually observed in moderate to severe cases of the disease.
Injuries that don’t Heal Easily
Some people may think that they have a serious injury while in fact they are already suffering from a serious case of rheumatoid arthritis. The condition may mimic signs of trauma or injury like a sprained ankle or a swollen knee. Thus, it is extremely important that you undergo the appropriate diagnosis or tests before you elect to go through extensive physical therapy or arthroscopic surgery.
Tingling Sensation or Numbness of the Hands
The tingling sensation may be associated with Carpal Tunnel syndrome. This condition is brought about by the swelling of the arms which causes the compression of the nerves that link to the hands. When you consult with your doctor with these typical symptoms, you may be falsely diagnosed as having Carpal Tunnel syndrome if you fail to mention other symptoms that are associated to rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammation of the Forefoot
The inflammation of the forefoot is a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Patients find the urgent need to consult with their podiatrist to relieve the intense pain and women are forced to ditch their high-heeled shoes if the pain and inflammation become severe. Men and women who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are also prone to plantar fasciitis, which is a medical condition characterized by the swelling of the tissue that is found at the bottom portion of the foot.
Medical Conditions affecting the Eyes
Those who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are also predisposed to Siogrens syndrome, which is also an autoimmune condition that may be a conjunctive problem to RA. It is characterized by the dryness of the patient’s eyes, throat, skin, nose and mouth. This complication may manifest during the initial stages of rheumatoid arthritis, although it may just be one of the various symptoms that can be triggered by the chronic disease. Those who have recurring problem with dry eyes would need to get the advice of their eye doctor about the correlated symptoms that are linked to rheumatoid arthritis.
These are considered as among the most predominant symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. However, the pain may also be brought about by other conditions like osteoarthritis or even overexertion. The pain in the joints may erroneously be attributed to chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. Rheumatoid arthritis is not a momentary medical problem as a typical flare up may persist for more than a week. This condition can also be symmetrical and affect both ankles, knees, feet or hands at the same time.
Stiffness of the Joints
This typical symptom of rheumatoid is also present in osteoarthritis, which is usually triggered by extended periods of immobility or inactivity. The only difference is that the stiffness associated to osteoarthritis is normally fleeting and will subside in less than an hour. On the other hand, the stiffness that is brought about by rheumatoid arthritis will bother you for a good part of the day.
Lumps or Nodules under the skin
People with RA may develop firm lumps or nodules just below the epidermis. These nodules normally occur at the back portion of the elbow, and in some instances patients will develop nodules in their eyes. This RA symptom is most common in patients who are suffering from the advanced form of the disease, although there are a few cases where these nodules appear during the early stage of rheumatoid arthritis. Conditions that are characterized by the presence of these nodules may be misdiagnosed as a case of gout, which is another type of arthritis.
Locking of the Joints
Locked joint is another serious symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, and this complication normally affects the elbows and knees. The locking of the joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis is brought about by the swollen tendons, and because of this complication, the range of movement of the joints is impaired.
Proper medical management of this chronic disease requires accurate and timely diagnosis. Natural over the counter products that are better than arthritis medications can help you ease or alleviate the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and even prevent their recurrence with side effects unlike prescription drugs. Reviews of such products is provided on the homepage.